Two children plus one favorite toy equals trouble. No, this is not the beginning of a new math word problem. But it is a scenario that leads to disruptions in families every day. In this case, both children each want the special toy that came from Grandma. What is the fair response? Who had it first? Or, who had the toy most yesterday?
You see, the problem is not fairness, but the selfishness of little hearts.
"Who had it first?" This type of question is based upon the assumption that being fair is the underlying principle for settling disputes. However, suppose you were to ask God to treat you fairly, based upon your actions and thoughts. In this case, fairness is the last thing any Christian would want. Jesus was unfairly declared guilty for my sake. So, no, you do not want God to treat you fairly.
Thus, making fairness a cornerstone of your parenting obscures the gospel message. Human fairness and the gospel don't mix.
Now, let's go back to the special toy. Mom realized that it was time to give some instruction about fairness and the gospel. As she was holding the treasured toy she said "So, you both think that this toy is a good gift from grandma." Both children nodded their heads enthusiastically. Then mom said, "Do you remember when we talked about where good gifts come from?" Both children agreed that good gifts come from God.